Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Is Krav Maga Effective?

       Martial arts crazes come and go, and the new craze seems to be Krav Maga. Krav Maga is an Israeli self-defense system that has gained popularity all over the globe in a matter of just a few years. The real question is: is it effective?

Just as with any martial art, just about anything can be made "effective". Krav Maga was originally a form of "street MMA", an attempted precursor to JKD, by which it tried to take effective techniques from all arts and unite them under one banner. This was adapted by the Israeli army in the 50's and is used to this date.  However, the fascination with "Krav Maga techniques" is ill-founded, as the attacks, strikes, and defenses are cobbled together from other martial arts. The knife attack and defense techniques in Krav Maga can almost all be found in older military manuals from World War 2 and the conflicts afterwards. Many techniques are taken straight from Taekwondo and Karate "one step" or "reaction" sparring drills. What does all of this mean? It means that Krav Maga has all the necessary tools to become an effective martial art, with the proper training. Regarding the nature of Krav Maga's "no nonsense" self defense attitude, this means that the proper training would most likely be military training.

The civilian world can't offer this kind of training, due to a combination of potential law suits and a general lack of perserverence and willingness. So what is being seen more and more often? Quite similar to the McDojo-ization of Taekwondo, Krav Maga is undergoing a "dumbing down". Businesses have made millions on selling Krav Maga as an effective method of self-defense while offering poor instruction, opponents that don't resist, and no full contact sparring. Millions more have been made selling it as a cardio workout program to overweight soccor moms and bored white-collar workers.

However, when regarding "true" Krav Maga, ineffective methods and practices also exist. Many gun defenses are downright suicidal. Having techniques that are "too dangerous to use in a sparring situation" are highly suspect in the first place and simply aren't practiced, such as fishhooks. This is why Krav Maga is only practiced in U.S Army branches that are unlikely to see hand-to-hand combat, while a seperate system is taught to the U:S Army and Marines. The argument that "if the Israeli Army uses it, it must be effective" is very poor when one considers that the Israeli state would have collapsed numerous times without U.S military funding and intelligence.

All in all, Krav Maga has potential. Is it quite there yet? Not by a long shot. It has yet to constistently prove itself in the ring. Is there hope? We will see.


guy said...

I have been training in krav maga for almost 2 years now and have read many comments on the effectiveness of krav maga so i decided to put it to the test. I sparred with guys who had a study other arts e.g. kyokushin ,MMA and BJJ and i lost everytime. After my failed experiment I stop my krav maga training.

However, about a few months ago i was on my way to my car when another car pull up in front of me and two guys came out armed with a Machete and gun. I managed to get the gun away although i did not do much gun defense just the basics and dealt with the guy with the machete. I admit it was stupid fighting back and luck was on my side.

The point to my story is that Krav maga does what it is supposed to do as well as the other arts. The argument that if you come across a train fight it would not work from my experience i would say yes. However if you are being mugged by 2 MMA guy and you do MMA you are in for some trouble.

The next point I need to make is that i was only studying krav maga for 10 months. Now ask yourself this which martials after 10 month would give you the skills to deal with 2 arm attackers and survive.

Anonymous said...

Cool story bro! LOL

Anonymous said...

Great article. Krav Maga teaches a host of dangerous techniques that would get the users killed, especially the "gun disarms" they teach. There is a video somewhere on Youtube showing that even with airsoft pistols (which have a slower fire rate and far slower projectile velocity), the success rate was very mixed. And that wasn't even with a real gun!

Krav Maga SWINDLERS (yeah, that's what they are) ought to be sued for teaching this crap to people. If someone holds you at gunpoint for your wallet, give them your wallet! Life isn't a movie.